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Each weekday morning, OurAmazingPlanet takes the pulse of the Earth, reporting on natural phenomena and exploration news from around the globe.

Brutal Cold: Snow days are one thing, but cold days? The bitter cold in the northeastern United States has forced some schools to close. The morning low was minus 36 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 37.8 degrees Celsius) in Saranac Lake, N.Y. [Related: The Coldest Places on Earth .]

Australia Evacuations: Officials have ordered another round of evacuations as the southeast part of the country faces more flooding. [Related: When Will the Floods in Australia Stop? ]

Weirdest Imperiled Animals: The Zoological Society of London has updated its list of the world's 100 weirdest endangered species.

Brazil's Deadly Floods: The death toll from the flooding in Rio de Janeiro has surpassed 800.

Amazon Swimmer: Read an interview with the first man to swim the length of the Amazon River, and the subject of the new documentary, "Big River Man."

Previously on Our Daily Planet: Brazil Mudslides and a Cross-Eyed Opossum

Reach OurAmazingPlanet staff writer Brett Israel at bisrael@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @btisrael.